Maha pharmacist murder: Court denies bail to accused veterinarian, says ample material to show his involvement in conspiracy

04:02 PM Jul 17, 2023 | PTI |

Aspecial court here has denied bail to veterinary doctor Yusuf Khan, an accused in the murder of Amravati-based pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, saying there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the accusations against him are prima-facie true.


The court also said there is ample material against Khan regarding his involvement in the alleged conspiracy to kill the pharmacist. Special NIA court judge Rajesh Katariya denied bail to Khan on July 12. The detailed order was available on Monday.

Kolhe, who had shared a social media post backing suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma over the latter’s alleged controversial comments about Prophet Mohammad, was killed in Maharashtra’s Amravati district on June 21, 2022.

As per the police, Kolhe was stabbed in the neck by the assailants who rode a motorbike when he was returning home on his two-wheeler after closing his medical shop in Amravati, located about 650 km from Mumbai.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case on July 2 last year on the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs under Indian Penal Code sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.


The court, in its order, said there are specific allegations and material to show the applicant (Khan) forwarded the post sent by the deceased on a WhatsApp group, to other groups and individuals to take revenge from Kolhe.

”The act of the applicant forwarding the message, spreading hatred against him (Kolhe) in their community, and to show him consequences reveals about the intention of the applicant,” the court said.

The judge said there are allegations that Khan approached a co-accused and a conspiracy to behead the deceased was hatched.

“In view of specific allegations against the applicant and material on record, it cannot be said that the accusations against the applicant are inherently improbable or wholly unbelievable,” the court said.

There are reasonable grounds for believing the accusations against the applicant are prima-facie true, it said.

There is ample material against the applicant regarding his involvement in the alleged conspiracy of commission of the crime. The offence is very serious in nature, the court said.

The allegations made in the charge-sheet and the documents filed with it reveal a prima-facie case against the applicant, the judge said.

”In view of the seriousness of allegations made against the applicant, collective interest of the community would outweigh in the case and the grounds put forth would not go in favour of the applicant,” the court said. The applicant failed to make out grounds for grant of bail, it added.

Khan’s lawyer Shehzad Naqvi said there was no cogent ground to reject the bail application. The order has been passed in a routine manner and without proper consideration of the evidence on record, the lawyer said, adding they will file an appeal in the Bombay High Court for bail. Besides Khan, there are 10 other persons accused in the case.


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